The Legend of the Pasadena Parrots

2 Oct

He's a wild one!


I expected many things to be different when I moved from northern to southern California. I expected to have to adjust to the smog, and somehow endure the hideously pointless traffic. I’ve appreciated the vast abundance of palm trees, and I’m sure I’ll love the warmer weather in the winter.

One thing I did not expect was the parrots.

The building I work in has very loud and clanky fans that make me jump every time they turn on. But the noise of the fans doesn’t even begin to compare to a mysterious loud squawking that, when I heard it for the first time, almost rendered me deaf.

When I asked my co-worker what on earth the noise was, she introduced me to the legend of the Pasadena parrots.

Apparently, Pasadena is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of parrots. There are varying accounts about how their freedom from captivity occurred, but according to Wikipedia (our society’s most reliant source of information), the parrots “were part of the stock from the large pet emporium at Simpson’s Garden Town on East Colorado Blvd. The nursery burned down in 1969, and the parrots were thereby released to forage in the lush Pasadena area.”

Evidently the parrots love cedar trees’ berry kernels, and these trees “grow in great abundance around Pasadena.” Now, I’m not an arborist, but I’m going to go out on a limb (pun intended) and assume the foliage surrounding my office is mainly cedar trees, providing a home for these noisy guys.

Thankfully, the parrots didn’t make much use of their vocal cords this past week, but when they did, the effect was jarring. I’m sure I’ll eventually get used to it. However, according to Wikipedia, the parrots are “especially noticeable in the winter,” so I can look forward to losing my hearing in the near future.


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